The Usual, Soho hotspot from famed chef Alvin Cailan (the brains behind Eggslut, Amboy and The Burger Show) recently announced the launch of a late night Burger Happy Hour. Could anything be better than a late night burger? After 10pm, guests can enjoy six different burgers including a rotating Burger of the Day, as well as half-priced bottles of wine. The Burger of the Day will rotate daily with offerings such as The Big Kahuna, grilled pineapple, bacon, pickled shallots, diced red onion, aioli and Smash Burger with crispy Cheddar, B&B pickles and house-made Russian dressing.
What’s the inspiration behind the menu? ALVIN CAILAN: The menu is purely inspired by my beautiful, multi-cultural staff and the food we ate growing up in America.
What inspires your cooking? AC: Everything. I like to eat and travel and I look for new dishes that remind me of American dishes that I love so much. The other day, I had amazing lobster and garlic noodles from a Vietnamese restaurant and it reminded me of a simple pasta aglio e olio I learned to make when I was 13. So, I went to the kitchen and combined the two and it was delicious!
What’s your favorite thing on the menu? AC: My favorite dish. at the moment is our Veggie Sandwich. It’s. made with thinly sliced beets stacked a mile high and topped with pickled shallots, carrots, dressed arugula, goat cheese and cashew mayo on crusty multigrain bread: so freakin’ good. It’s like a veggie sandwich and a Bahn Mi had a baby.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job? AC: Two things: first, I get to fulfill my dream of running a kitchen in New York City and second, I get to share my knowledge with my staff and watch them grow professionally. I feel like I’m at the point in my career where sharing my experiences and knowledge is more important than me the next best chef.
What’s next? AC: Amboy, which will be my first full-service Filipino restaurant in NYC, is currently being built in Nolita and I just wrapped up my cookbook which will launch in Spring 2020!